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Relevance Committee

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Some of you may know me already as your Chapter Advocate representing you on the Prime Timers Worldwide Board of Directors, others I have met at the Prime Timers Worldwide Convention in Chicago last October, but I now want to address to all the Chapters.


In taking the Chapter surveys, I find the same issues are consistently being brought up by many of the Chapters – the need to attract new members. The new Prime Timers Worldwide Board of Directors has responded to these issues and has established a Relevance Committee, which I volunteered to spearhead. The goal is to publicize our organization and make the Prime Timers relevant to a larger group of gay and bisexual men and thus recruit new and younger members.


The first issue we have to tackle brought up by many Chapters is the use of the words "Prime" and "Mature." Everyone thinks, inside and outside of our organization, that those words mean old, seniors, and retirees. This is not true at all. It's quite the contrary.


First off, many Chapters do embrace men of all ages. Remember that our Worldwide Constitution states (and all our Chapter Constitutions should reflect the same) that our organization is open to any gay or bisexual male over 21. Some chapters say they welcome men over 30 or 40. That is a step in the right direction. So, to this end, the Relevance Committee realized that we need to define and encourage the proper use of the words "mature" and "prime" without their negative connotations. According to all the major dictionaries, "Mature" only means you are a full grown adult and on your life path. "Prime" suggests being in the "Prime of Your Life." That does not mean you are "retired" or "old." When a person is actually in the "Prime of their lives" or a "Prime Timer" could be looked at in different ways. You have settled down, you could be in a committed relationship, maybe having children, doing well in your life and career, enjoying your successes, and loving life. For some people that may be in their 30's, others their 40's or 50's and for some, their 60's and 70's can be the "Prime of their life". It could be any period when you are staring to coast, reaping the benefits of your success, be financially stable, the kids are grown or gone, you do more relaxing things, play golf, maybe enjoying your grandchildren, take cruises, travel, etc. It is a different period, but a good period when you can start enjoying life. Our social and fraternal mission has no upper or lower boundaries on age (other than 21). The older men have a lot to offer educationally as mentors to the younger men, and younger men can make the older men feel enviously young again. It is a win-win situation. Such is the meaning of our tag line: "The Prime Timers is a worldwide social and fraternal organization bringing together Mature Gay and Bisexual Men for friendship, activities, support, and personal growth, for the Best Times of our Lives". Those words describing our organization, Prime and Mature, is something that we should be proud of and used to recruit new and younger members to continue on in our tradition long after we are gone.


Along those lines, the new Prime Timers Worldwide Board of Directors recognizes that our members are getting older and we are not sufficiently backfilling our memberships. That is not a good path to be on if we don't plan to be on the road to extinction. So the Relevance Committee is collecting from the Chapters what they are doing to recruit new and younger members. At the Convention in Chicago, Director Emeritus Michael Stone gave a workshop on this subject. Many of the Presidents and representatives shared so many of the great things that they were doing to attract new members and retain members. Foremost was letting their communities know that an organization like the Prime Timers exist by getting our name and mission out there. When we work Pride Fest in the Palm Beaches, we get many new members who always say to us, "We didn't know an organization like yours existed, sign us up."


I try to read the newsletters posted from as many chapters as possible. Many chapters are doing great and diverse events where they are exposing our fraternity to the world, consciously or unconsciously. Many times, people come to us and ask to join the fun. Maybe we can perform those events with the deliberate intent to attract new and younger members. I would love to hear from all the chapters on what they are doing to recruit new members, retain existing members, get members to come to meetings, get volunteers to host events, get members to serve on their board, and so on. Send me your ideas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I plan to publish the ideas I receive in a monthly column in the Worldwide newsletter, and of course, giving credit to you and your chapter. Brag about your successes and share your ideas with your fellow chapters. Help grow the Prime Timers Worldwide.

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:09
Vinnie Prim

I am a member of the Prime Timer of the Palm Beaches (Florida) and also participate in the events offered by the Prime Timers of Fort Lauderdale.

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